Monday, August 21, 2017

The True Nature of the Eclipse

So apparently there was an eclipse that happened today. I didn’t get the whole hype of it, but I had a few thoughts that made it a bit more exciting. Choose your head-canon for the eclipse.

The eclipse is a sight that the gate to the Digital World is opening. (Where did I put my Digivice?)

The Eight Digi-Destined hear the meaning of the eclipse.

Seemingly random people are about to get some crazy superpowers.

They also had another eclipse where everyone lost powers.

It’s time to attack the Fire Nation.

The Death Star is about to kill us all.

Nice knowing you guys.

What else guys? Did I miss any other meanings of the eclipse?

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Pokémon Theories

Pokémon has been out for 20 years and despite genwunners and naysayers, the cultural phenomenon continues with no sign of stopping. There are new games scheduled to be released and despite playership lower than the initial fad, Pokémon Go is still going strong. As a result of all the games, manga, and anime, there are many fan theories that have been thrown around over the 20 years of the franchise. Here are a few of my favorites. Where possible I’ve included links to YouTube videos, podcasts, and articles where I found these theories.

One popular theory that I kept coming across was about Blue/Gary (the rival of the Generation I games) and his Raticate. The theory states that after fighting and losing to Red/Ash/You on the S.S. Anne, he couldn’t heal his Raticate (or Rattata in Yellow version) in time and it ended up dying. That’s why when you see him in Lavender Town he doesn’t have Raticate anymore. It’s especially pertinent seeing that the Pokémon Tower where you fight him is the memorial for dead Pokémon. The problem with this theory is in the post-battle text. If you take it at face value, after the battle, Blue starts asking about your Pokédex and telling you about Cubone and Marowak. He doesn’t exactly seem choked up or too keen on paying his respects. However, Blue could easily just be putting on a tough guy façade because he’s upset with you.  (Source: Creeps Plays)

Next I found a theory about Ditto being a failed clone of Mew. The evidence states that both Ditto and Mew are the only Pokémon able to learn Transform. Also, they are the same color (even in shiny form) and similar weight. We also only find Ditto in the Pokémon Mansion on Cinnabar Island in Generation I (and Unknown Dungeon in Yellow), where we learn from the scattered journal entries that Mewtwo was created. In more recent games, Ditto is also found at Pokémon Village, which is also where you find Mewtwo. This theory seems legit and has every possibility of being true. (Source: Silph Radio)

Another theory about Pokémon origins is that Cubone is Kangaskhan’s baby. If you look at Cubone right next to a baby Kangaskhan they look similar. So the theory goes that if a baby Kangaskhan’s mother dies, it wears its mother’s skull and becomes a Cubone. They’re found in similar locations and just their sprites next to each other is enough evidence for me. Also there’s the whole Missingno thing evolving into Kangaskhan, so there was obviously some code in Red/Blue for something to evolve into it. Perhaps it was going to be an alternate evolution for Cubone? Maybe Cubone was going to evolve from happiness into Kangaskhan (because it wouldn’t be grieving as much?). (Source: Screen Rant)

One theory I came across that’s kind of interesting is that Team Rocket is good (at least in the games). The rationale is that their missions in Red/Blue/Yellow all lead to capturing Mewtwo, who they accidentally created and unleashed on the world. This could get long, so I’ll give you the cliffnotes. (1) Dr. Fuji and Team Rocket create Mewtwo on Cinnabar Island and accidentally unleash it. (2) Team Rocket confront Mr. Fuji (same man) in Lavender Town but first (3) they need the Silph Scope to reach Mr. Fuji in Pokémon Tower. After all of that, (4) they need the Master Ball to catch Mewtwo, so they store Silph Co. The problem I have with this is that Team Rocket still has some sketchy operations in Mt. Moon, Game Corner, etc. I could see it that they’re doing the wrong thing for the right reasons, but I wouldn’t necessarily call them good guys in that came. (Source: Pokémon World Tour #53)

Back to Pokémon origin theories, remember in Ecruteak City we have the Burned Tower where Entei, Raikou, and Suicune are? It’s said that they were three Pokémon who were killed when the tower burned and they were resurrected by Ho-Oh. What Pokémon were they though? Well, Ecruteak City also has the Kimono Girls, who special in Eeveelutions. If you look closely, the abilities and typings of Raikou/Suicune/Entei match up to Jolteon/Vaporeon/Flareon. It would make sense that these Eeveelutions would be original forms of the Legendary Beasts. That begs the question though… are there also Legendary Beasts in Dark, Psychic, Grass, Ice, and Fairy types? (Source: Creeps Plays)

My finally theory for this post is about Pokémon Go. Ever since the game first game out last year, there have been jokes, web comics, etc. about the Pokémon you send to Professor Willow. The joke is that the Pokémon are ground up and given to you as Pokémon candy. That’s grim and dark so here’s what I buy into: Catch and release. I’ve seen this theory go around as simple catch-and-release, like when I would go fishing as a kid. I’ve also seen this been Professor Willow tagging the Pokémon you send him, before releasing them, so that he can track and research them.

So this is all I have for now. I found several other good (or at least decent) Pokémon theories but this post was getting long, so I’ll save those other theories for another time. In the meantime, as a reward for reading to the end of this post, I decided to include some Mega Stone codes for Pokémon Sun/Moon that were released over the past few months. If I missed any, let me know. Enjoy!

AZUL (for Pidgeot, Steelix, Heracross, and Houndoom)
INTIMIDATE (for Beedrill, Medicham, Audino, and Mawile)
M2DESCENT (for both Mewtwo)
MATSUBUSA (for Sceptile, Blaziken, Swampert, Camerupt, and Banette)

POYONG (for Diancie, Gardevoir, Gallade, and Lopunny)

Monday, August 7, 2017

I Choose Hope

I've been thinking a bit about the power of agency and to what extent we choose happiness. Of course there are things like clinical depression and other mental conditions that affect a person in ways that no amount of positive thinking can fix. However that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about negative thinking. That can be fixed with positive thinking and choosing happiness and hope.


In the mid-season finale of Once Upon a Time, the flashbacks featured the theme of happy endings. In Snow White and Prince Charming's flashback the Blue Fairy talks to them about their daughter Emma's destiny to save them all from the impending curse. At first Snow is worried about the uncertainty, that they don't know if the future will hold anything good for them. Charming responds that the future isn't what they planned, but that doesn't make it bad. In the end, Snow says, "I choose hope."

In another episode (chronologically after the flashback I just mentioned), Snow White/Mary Margaret is talking to her grown daughter Emma who is frustrated by her parents' insufferable optimism. How could they always be so optimistic when their lives have sucked so much? A line from Snow White/Mary Margaret right then hit me: "The minute I let go of the idea that things will get better is the minute I know they won't."

My life hasn't exactly been ideal lately. I've been stressed by school and preoccupied with making sure that my relationships with others are healthy. Many times I've wanted to just break down in tears feeling hopeless. Other times I have felt hopeless. As hard as it is, and it is incredibly hard, I am holding onto the hope of a "happy ending" (or at least reminding myself that the semester has an ending). It's really easy to be bitter toward God or others for what's going on in my life. However, instead of being bitter I choose hope. Hope that I will get acceptable grades in my classes. Hope that I will be able to maintain healthy relationships. And hope that no matter how many tears I shed, the Savior will be there to wipe those tears away (Revelation 21:4) and comfort me. I need Him. I cannot go through this journey alone.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Lost Upon a Time

Though they didn't spent much screen time together on Lost,
Rebecca Mader and Emilie de Ravin reunited on Once.
So recently Once Upon a Time released some teasers for their Season 7 soft reboot. At the same time, I’ve been rewatching Lost for the first time in years. Now it’s common knowledge for fans of either show that the creating team overlaps. As a result we’ve also seen some cast overlap over years including Claire/Belle, Widmore/King George, Hurley/the Giant, Charlotte/Zelena, Juliet/Ingrid, Sayid/Jafar, Ilana/Amara, and perhaps others I’ve missed. So as Once Upon a Time enters it’s seventh (and hopefully last season) it would make sense for us to see some more Lost alumni. So here are some that I’d like to see back and who I’d maybe like to see them appear as. WARNING: I might mention some minor casting/plot spoilers for Season 7 of Once Upon a Time.

Matthew Fox: So seeing as Matthew Fox played the top lead in Lost as Dr. Jack Shephard, it would make sense to bring him into Once Upon a Time at some point. As far as who I’d like for him to play, I could see him playing some Land Without Magic character in Seattle (likely just as a cameo, maybe as a doctor). However, if he were to be a fairy tale character I could see him being some sort of rebooted Prince Charming (after all, we got alternate versions of the fairy tales references in the sneak peek).

Malcolm David Kelley: Known for being the 10-year-old Walt on Lost, I could see Malcolm David Kelley appearing. Since he’s aged 13 years since Lost began (and he only had scattered appearances after the first season anyway) it would be a nice subtle nod to Lost without being as intrusive as Zelena or Ingrid. Perhaps he could be an African-American Flynn Rider to go with our Rapunzel from Season 3? Although I kind of like the idea of a bi-racial relationship for Rapunzel if they ever bring her back. Something more to explore.

Josh Holloway: He was the conman Sawyer on Lost, but I could see him being a Disney prince on Once Upon a Time. Especially if we have the right one.  Since we have it teased that we’ll see Tiana, what if he was Prince Naveen. Whether it’s set in the Enchanted Forest or early 20th Century Louisiana, Josh Holloway’s Southern accent could at least be a nod to the Disney movie taking place in the South. And if we’re going with my bi-racial couple idea that I mentioned for Rapunzel, this one would work well too.

Dominic Monaghan: He was the rock star/drug addict Charlie on Lost but lots of people also recognize Dominic Monaghan from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Since he’s a recognizable hobbit, it might be funny for him to be an oversized dwarf in Once Upon a Time. Or maybe he could be a short giant that he can be reunite with his on-screen buddy Jorge Garcia. I’d absolutely love to see Charlie and Hurley on screen together again.

Terry O’Quinn: The man of faith Locke was played by Terry O’Quinn. He also played the Man in Black for the last season and a half, so you could say his character skills are versatile. As such I have a little trouble pinning him down for who I’d like to see him as. Because of the soft reboot I could see him being one of the kings in one of the new fairy tale realms. Maybe the father of Cinderella’s prince… although Cinderella is supposed to be with Henry? I dunno. It’s going to be weird.

Michael Emerson: The devious and cunning and plotting Benjamin Linus. Michael Emerson was brilliant in Lost, so I’d love to see him return. Maybe as a cohort of this season’s big bad (supposedly Lady Tremaine?) but I’d like to see him as a legitimate good guy this time. Maybe he could be a rebooted Rumpelstiltskin. I’d doubt that one since Robert Carlyle is returning, but who knows. Alternatively, I could see him as some other sort of magician character. Maybe a new Merlin?

Any Lost alumni you’d like to see back? What about the idea of the soft reboot? What are your opinions? Regardless of your opinions of the reboot, since it’s happening anyway are there any stories you’d like to see revisited?